StartUp Bahrain Week, the community-led festival of startup events, returned to Bahrain for the second time from 3-10 March, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, Chairman of the Economic Development Board (EDB). Startup delegations attended a variety of talks, pitch competitions and practical workshops aimed at supporting startups and entrepreneurs from across the region – and beyond.
Founders rubbed shoulders with investors, incubators, accelerators and educational institutions to learn, network and scale. The StartUp Bahrain Week was held in partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and Tamkeen. Headline events included Unbound Bahrain, a two-day innovation festival which hosted over 100 influential speakers in the fields of AI, FinTech, the blockchain, sustainability, investment, digital health and more.
Attendees explored themes such as tech disruption in the Gulf and brand storytelling, heard what keeps a venture capitalist up at night, and joined in hackathons and a lunchtime pitching session. There were also panel discussions and workshops on diversity in the workplace, and the role of women in the innovation and entrepreneur ecosystem. Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager – Business Development - Startups at the EDB said: “Here in Bahrain, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation, and we are always looking to see how we can do more to help startups succeed.
StartUp Bahrain Week 2019 was a real community effort, packed full of inspirational events for entrepreneurs and investors that will encourage innovation and growth in the startup ecosystem – not just here but across the region”. Safa Sharif, Director of Investment at Tamkeen said: “We realise the importance of giving startups the business opportunities they deserve, and we are excited to have been part of Startup Bahrain Week that does so much to encourage this dynamic startup culture. We found the calibre of entrepreneurs at this year’s event exceptionally high, and we look forward to seeing some of these startups scale rapidly in the future.”